frequently asked questions

If you are not sure, ask!

Responses to some of your regular enquiries regarding flour, baking, milling and farming

Why can I eat spelt bread without the effects I suffer when eating wheat bread as some-one who has a wheat intolerance?

Although wheat is derived from spelt the chemical construction of the grains are different. Spelt has a higher percentage in most of the minerals found in grain and stores it differently. The gluten structure is also different which makes the spelt dough much more digestible. When you consider that spelt is almost exclusively an organic product: not grown under chemical farming methods: not milled in industrial milling processes: and used in limited quantities in the commercial bakeries, you are more likely to be eating a traditional hand made sourdough loaf from a local bakery using minimal ingredients. The flour he will have sourced from a smaller stonegrinding miller who will be buying in his grains from an organic farm. This is as far removed from the modern loaf as you can get.

Is spelt gluten free and suitable for celiac sufferers?

Most definitely not. It is a member of the wheat family and the gluten although different (in that it has more stretch than strength compared to wheat) is a form of wheat gluten non-the-less and will effect celiac sufferers in the same way as wheat gluten

Why is spelt so much more expensive?

The extra cleaning process involved in extracting and separating the grain from the husk is a costly process not needed for wheat. It also has a very low yield which means we only harvest a third or less than an equivalent field of wheat.

What is Spelt?

Spelt is an ancient grain within the cereal family and half of the original parent material of modern wheat. It is a covered grain which means it is tightly bound in layers of husk on the ear. Extracting the grain from its husk is an additional process after harvesting.

Is there added Gluten in your flours?

No – we don’t add gluten or improvers to our flours.

Can I use strong flour for cakes?

Yes. Just add 1 teaspoon of baking powder per 250 g flour/9 oz of flour.

What is the difference between “strong” and “plain” flour?

Strong flour is milled from grains with high Gluten quality, to ensure the flour has enough strength and stretch to produce a well risen loaf. Plain flour is milled from grain varieties which do not have the natural potential to produce bread making qualities.

Why is stone ground Wholemeal good for me?

The low Glycaemic index (<30) in stoneground wholemeal flour can reduce high blood sugar/insulin imbalances also associated with heart health problems.

Why is stone ground flour better for me?

The milling is soft on the grain and can only grind 250kgs/hour. The gentle process leaves the high concentration of minerals and vitamins intact. All our flours still have the wheatgerm and is therefore rich in essential oils. No added gluten or improvers are in the flour nor a they required at baking.

sign up for latest news & updates

We are proud to support Organic UK Farmers. Thank you for also supporting them and everyone at Gilchesters. Dismiss